Special Tony Award
Awarded forSpecial Tony Award
LocationUnited States New York City
Presented byAmerican Theatre Wing The Broadway League

The Special Tony Award category includes the Lifetime Achievement Tony Award and the Special Tony Award. These are non-competitive honorary awards, and the titles have changed over the years. The Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre is to "honor an individual for the body of his or her work."[1] (The Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event was a competitive award, given from 2001 to 2009.) Another non-competitive Tony award is the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, to "recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations that do not fit into any of the competitive categories."[1]

Award winners


Year Recipient Reason
1st Tony Awards
Dora Chamberlain Unfailing courtesy as treasurer of the Martin Beck Theatre
Ira and Rita Katzenberg Enthusiasm as inveterate first-nighters
Jules Leventhal Being the season's most prolific backer and producer
Burns Mantle The annual publication of The Ten Best Plays
P. A. MacDonald Intricate construction for the production of If the Shoe Fits
Vincent Sardi Sr. Providing a transient home and comfort station for theatre folk at Sardi's for 20 years
2nd Tony Awards
Rosalind Gilder Contribution to theatre through a publication for Theatre Arts
Vera Allen Distinguished wing volunteer worker through the war and after
Paul Beisman Progressive Theatre Operators to Operator of the American Theatre, St. Louis
Joe E. Brown Spreading theatre to the country in Harvey, while the originals perform in New York
Cast of The Importance of Being Earnest Outstanding Foreign Company
Robert W. Dowling Progressive theatre operators to President of City Investing Company, St. Louis
Experimental Theatre Inc. Experiment in theatre
June Lockhart Outstanding Performance by a Newcomer for For Love or Money
Mary Martin Spreading theatre to the country in Annie Get Your Gun, while the originals perform in New York
George Pierce Twenty-five years of courteous and efficient service as a backstage doorman at the Empire Theatre
James Whitmore Outstanding Performance by a Newcomer for Command Decision
3rd Tony Awards


Year Recipient Reason
4th Tony Awards
Maurice Evans Special recognition for guiding the City Center Theatre Company through a highly successful season
Philip Faversham Representing those workers from the American Theatre Wing's hospital program who had performed hospital volunteer work outside of New York
Brock Pemberton (posthumous) Founder of awards and its original chairman
5th Tony Awards
Ruth Green Her services as a volunteer in arranging reservation and seating for the five Tony Awards
6th Tony Awards
Charles Boyer His performance in Don Juan in Hell, thereby assisting in a new theatre trend
Judy Garland An important contribution to the revival of vaudeville through her recent stint at the Palace Theatre
Edward Kook His contributing to and encouraging the development of stage lighting and electronics
7th Tony Awards
Danny Kaye Heading a variety bill at the Palace Theatre. Equity Community Theatre
Beatrice Lillie Her performance in An Evening with Beatrice Lillie
8th Tony Awards
9th Tony Awards
Proscenium Productions Presented to Warren Enters, Robert Merriman and Sybil Trubin for high quality and viewpoints shown in The Way of the World and Thieves Carnival
10th Tony Awards
Fourth Street Chekov Theatre
City Center
The New York Public Library Theatre Collection Presented to founder George Freedley for its distinguished service to the theatre
The Shakespearewrights
The Threepenny Opera Presented to producer Carmen Capalbo for her distinguished Off-Broadway production
11th Tony Awards
American Shakespeare Festival
Jean-Louis Barrault
Robert Russell Bennett
William Hammerstein
Joseph Harbuck His performance in Auntie Mame
Paul Shyre
12th Tony Awards
Louise Heims Beck Fifteen years of untiring dedication to the American Theatre Wing, which she served as treasurer, secretary and chairman of the board of directors
New York Shakespeare Festival Presenting free performances in Central Park and the Hecksher Theater
13th Tony Awards
Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay A collaboration that lasted longer than Gilbert and Sullivan
John Gielgud Contribution to theatre for his extraordinary insight into the writings of Shakespeare as demonstrated in his one-man play, Ages of Man
Cast of La Plume de Ma Tante Contribution to the theatre


Year Recipient Reason
14th Tony Awards
Burgess Meredith and James Thurber Their production of A Thurber Carnival
John D. Rockefeller III Vision and leadership in creating the Lincoln Center, a landmark of theatre encompassing the performing arts
15th Tony Awards
David Merrick In recognition of a fabulous production record over the last seven years
The Theatre Guild Organizing the first repertory to go abroad for the State Department; presented to Warren Caro[2]
16th Tony Awards
Brooks Atkinson His influential theatre critique in The New York Times
Richard Rodgers All he has done for young people in the theatre and for taking the men of the orchestra out of the pit and putting them on stage in No Strings
Franco Zeffirelli His designs and direction of the Old Vic's Romeo and Juliet
17th Tony Awards
Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore Their brilliance in Beyond the Fringe, which has shattered all the old concepts of comedy
Irving Berlin His distinguished contribution to the musical theatre for these many years
W. McNeil Lowry On behalf of the Ford Foundation for his and their distinguished support of the American Theatre
18th Tony Awards
Eva Le Gallienne Celebrating her 50th year as an actress, honored for her work with the National Repertory Theatre
19th Tony Awards
Gilbert Miller Producing 88 plays and musicals and for his perseverance which has helped to keep New York and theatre alive
Oliver Smith
20th Tony Awards
Helen Menken A lifetime of devotion and dedicated service to the Broadway theatre
21st Tony Awards
22nd Tony Awards
APA-Phoenix Theatre
Pearl Bailey
Carol Channing
Maurice Chevalier
Marlene Dietrich
Audrey Hepburn
David Merrick
23rd Tony Awards
Leonard Bernstein
Carol Burnett
Rex Harrison
The National Theatre of England
The Negro Ensemble Company


Year Recipient Reason
24th Tony Awards
Noël Coward Multiple and immortal contributions to the theatre
Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt
New York Shakespeare Festival Pioneering efforts on behalf of new plays
Barbra Streisand Star of the Decade
25th Tony Awards
Ingram Ash Decades of devoted service to the theatre
Elliot Norton Distinguished theatrical commentary
Playbill Chronicling Broadway through the years
Roger L. Stevens
26th Tony Awards
Fiddler on the Roof Presented to Harold Prince for becoming the longest-running musical in Broadway history
Ethel Merman
Richard Rodgers
The Theatre Guild-American Theatre Society Its many years of service to audiences for touring shows; presented to Warren Caro[2]
27th Tony Awards
John Lindsay (Mayor of New York City)
Shubert Organization
The Actor's Fund of America
28th Tony Awards
Actors' Equity Association
A Moon for the Misbegotten An outstanding dramatic revival of an American classic
Candide An outstanding contribution to the artistic development of the musical theatre
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore Co-stars and authors of Good Evening
Harold Friedlander Theatre Award '74
Bette Midler Adding lustre to the Broadway season
Liza Minnelli Adding lustre to the Broadway season
The Theatre Development Fund
John F. Wharton Theatre Award '74
29th Tony Awards
Al Hirschfeld Fifty years of theatrical cartoons
30th Tony Awards
George Abbott Lawrence Langner Award
Richard Burton
Circle in the Square Twenty-five continuous years of quality productions
Thomas H. Fitzgerald (Posthumous) Gifted lighting in countless Broadway shows and many Tony telecasts
Mathilde Pincus Outstanding service to the Broadway musical theatre
31st Tony Awards
Cheryl Crawford Lawrence Langner Award
Equity Liberty Theatre
Barry Manilow
National Theatre of the Deaf
Diana Ross
Lily Tomlin
32nd Tony Awards
Irving Berlin Lawrence Langner Award
Stan Dragoti and Charles Moss To the creators of the I Love New York Broadway show tours and its sponsor, the New York State Department of Commerce
33rd Tony Awards
Walter F. Diehl Being an active force in advancing the well-being of the Broadway theatre and of theatre nationally
Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theater Center
Henry Fonda
Richard Rodgers Lawrence Langner Award


Year Recipient Reason
34th Tony Awards
Richard Fitzgerald Installing the infrared system in Broadway theatres, thus bringing the compassion and dedication of making theatergoing for those with impaired hearing, rewarding and enjoyable
Goodspeed Musicals
Helen Hayes Lawrence Langner Award
Mary Tyler Moore Her performance in Whose Life Is It Anyway?
Hobe Morrison Theatre Award '80
35th Tony Awards
Lena Horne Her performance in Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music
36th Tony Awards
Radio City Music Hall Theatre Award '82
The Actors' Fund of America
Warner Communications Theatre Award '82
37th Tony Awards
38th Tony Awards
A Chorus Line In honor of becoming Broadway's longest-running musical
Peter Feller A master craftsman who has devoted forty years to theatre stagecraft and magic
Al Hirschfeld Brooks Atkinson Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
La Tragedie de Carmen Outstanding achievement in musical theatre
39th Tony Awards
Yul Brynner Honoring his 4,525 performances in The King and I
New York State Council on the Arts
40th Tony Awards
41st Tony Awards
George Abbott On the occasion of his 100th birthday
Jackie Mason His performance in The World According to Me
Robert Preston Lawrence Langner Award (posthumously)
42nd Tony Awards
Brooklyn Academy of Music
43rd Tony Awards


Year Recipient Reason
1990 – 1992
47th Tony Awards
Oklahoma! 50th anniversary
48th Tony Awards
Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy Lifetime Achievement
49th Tony Awards
Carol Channing Lifetime Achievement
National Endowment for the Arts Tony Honor
Harvey Sabinson Lifetime Achievement after 50 years in the theater
50th Tony Awards
51st Tony Awards
Bernard B. Jacobs Lifetime Achievement
52nd Tony Awards
Edward E. Colton Lifetime Achievement
Ben Edwards
53rd Tony Awards
Uta Hagen Lifetime Achievement
Arthur Miller
Isabelle Stevenson


Year Recipient Reason
54th Tony Awards
Dame Edna: The Royal Tour Live Theatrical Presentation
T. Edward Hambleton Lifetime Achievement
55th Tony Awards
Paul Gemignani Lifetime Achievement
56th Tony Awards
Julie Harris Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Robert Whitehead (theatre producer)
57th Tony Awards
Cy Feuer Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway Special Theatrical Event (Competitive)
58th Tony Awards
James M. Nederlander Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
59th Tony Awards
Edward Albee Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
60th Tony Awards
Sarah Jones Her performance in Bridge and Tunnel
Harold Prince Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
61st Tony Awards
62nd Tony Awards
Robert Russell Bennett In recognition of his contribution to the field of orchestrations
Stephen Sondheim Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
63rd Tony Awards
Jerry Herman Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre


Year Recipient Reason
64th Tony Awards
Alan Ayckbourn Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Marian Seldes
65th Tony Awards
Athol Fugard Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Philip J. Smith
66th Tony Awards
Actors' Equity Association
Hugh Jackman
67th Tony Awards
Bernard "Bernie" Gersten
Ming Cho Lee
Paul Libin
68th Tony Awards
Jane Greenwood Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
69th Tony Awards
John Cameron Mitchell
Tommy Tune Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
70th Tony Awards
Sheldon Harnick Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Marshall W. Mason
National Endowment for the Arts
Miles Wilkin
71st Tony Awards
James Earl Jones Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
72nd Tony Awards
Andrew Lloyd Webber Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Chita Rivera
John Leguizamo
Bruce Springsteen
73rd Tony Awards
Rosemary Harris Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Terrence McNally
Harold Wheeler
New York City Fire Department Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9
Marin Mazzie (posthumous)
Jason Michael Webb
Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company


Year Recipient Reason
74th Tony Awards
Graciela Daniele Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
The Broadway Advocacy Coalition
David Byrne's American Utopia
Freestyle Love Supreme
No ceremony
75th Tony Awards
Angela Lansbury Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
James C. Nicola
76th Tony Awards
Joel Grey Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
John Kander

See also


  1. ^ a b "The Award Categories" tonyawards.com, accessed April 7, 2011
  2. ^ a b "Warren Caro, 87, Theater Executive". The New York Times. January 2, 1995. p. 43.